Is the Online Store SEO-friendly?

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Its frustrating that those of us who are trying to run an online store in Yola are not seeing their store content indexed by search engines. Yola suggest meta-tagging the online store page, but this is not an acceptable solution; because none of the product content appears to be indexed at all. For those trying to run an ecommerce site, we are loosing a huge amount of SEO benefit by the search robots not spidering the e-commerce content. When is this going to be resolved as to me its a show-stopper and if it can't be fixed I'll need to move onto another supplier.
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Richard Voyce

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  • frustrated!

Posted 6 years ago

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Emmy

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Hello Gop,
Yes, we do have evidence that the products can now successfully be identified by the search engines, anything in the sitemap can be identified. You can also see all the product pages indexed by doing a site:domain.com in the search box. If it's coming up here, Google has spidered and added to the index.

Here is an example: https://www.google.com/#q=site:railpi...

In terms of what to do for your product pages, the best thing to do is give your products unique names and descriptions as well as optimize your overall category pages with meta data, good content, keywords etc.

I hope that helps!

Thanks,
Emmy
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Gop

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In that link I can't see any specific products indexed. This is not evidence. I think Matt's post following gives the reality of this aspect.

This really needs to be worked out.
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Emmy

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Hello Gop,
No, he does not have any of his product pages indexed as of yet. But the site is accessible by the search engines, the product pages are in the Sitemap and things will happen eventually, that's what I was pointing out. I know it's frustrating for me to day this, but we don't have any control over Google's indexing process. I can give you other sites built with Yola who do have product pages indexed at this time. See my response to Tiny Bag below.

We have gotten the products into the sitemap, which I understand took some time, but now that they are there, people need to continue with the SEO for their site and things will happen with time. It is like this for all sites, pages don't get indexed over night, you can even ask Google and they will tell you the same thing.

I will keep an eye on this thread and answer any questions people have, I just need it to be clear that we can't make Google spider a site and index it's pages.

Thanks,
Emmy
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Gop

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Hi Emmy,

In relation to the products in an Online Store: Without evidence you can't make the statement "things will happen eventually". That is called an argument from ignorance; without proof it is a logical fallacy.

Cutt's says that metadata isn't used by Google to index content of web-pages: neither keyword metadata nor page description metadata. Page description may be used as any other content and may be used as the passive subheading in searches if it's an accurate summary but has no weight simply because it is metadata.
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Tiny Bag Co

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Hello all,

Emmy, when i followed the link that you have provided above, not one of the 9 pages listed was a product in the store, they were all site pages. This is not proof that products are being listed.

I have been waiting for a while before commenting on the new updates to see what happens in webmaster tools and there are a few things which still I still feel are a major cause for concern.

The products in the store do indeed seem to be slowly getting indexed by Google. On the 10th June when you announced the the new changes I resubmitted my sitemap, and at the time I had 28 pages index with Google according to the index status page in webmaster tools. As of today I have 38 pages indexed. Of these 38 pages 24 of them are pages on the site NOT products. So far i will rate this part of the improvements a slow success.

Now the problems.

Of the products that appear to be indexed, only 1 of them uses the product title, all of the others use the page title. I am no expert in this field, but surely if the product title is not used in the Google listing it cannot help it be found for a particular search term. An example from my site would be bag feet which in the Google listing are listed under "purse and bag fastenings" as a title. This cannot help them show up in results for someone searching for "bag feet".

Problem 2. Not one of the products Google has indexed uses the product description in the search results. All of them use the the description given in the meta data tab on the Yola page properties. Once again this is seriously going to hinder the products showing up in results for a particular search term.

Problem 3. More of a small niggle this one. Only some of the products display a price in the search results.

Further background info that may be important.
Over the course of the last month since the last update was released I have resubmitted my sitemap 2-3 times as i have made SEO updates to page titles and keywords etc.. All of the pages indexed now appear to be listed with the new page titles, so I will assume that these changes have filtered through and will no longer be affecting the indexing of pages.

Regards,

Matt
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Emmy

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Hello Matt,
I did just take a look at the pages of your site that are indexed here:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid...

I see 48 pages indexed, I'm not sure if this is ahead of your Google Webmaster Tools reporting, are you only seeing 24 in there?

The link I gave above for the other customer was to show him his pages were being accessed and indexed, no there aren't any product pages indexed at this point, I was just showing him indexing was happening.

Yes, the individual product pages will show the description of the main category, that is expected behavior. I can see how it is not ideal and will put in a request from it to be looked at.

I have checked a few other stores and see that product pages are being indexed with the product name as the title, but yes, it is carrying the description of the main category.



I will continue to monitor this thread and answer any questions I can as well as talk to our team about things we can do to make this even better. I do understand it is frustrating waiting for pages to become indexed, I wish we had more control over it at this stage but we don't. Having the product pages in the Sitemap and seeing that they are being indexed tells me that there has been progress.

Thanks,
Emmy
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Tiny Bag Co

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Only one of the products I have indexed returns a result that looks like the image you have posted above.

I fail to see what good it is having all of your products listed in the site map and indexed if they all return the same listing in the google search results.

Everything I have ever read about SEO tells you to have product descriptions that describe what the product is, and rich product descriptions using focused keywords. What good is any of that if the search engines are only going to pick up on the page name and page description. Many people will have their store widget on one page only, yet have products in many different categories. Having a result that only lists the store page title and description is nothing short of useless.

As many people have commented before, I am at the point of feeling that I have been lied to and sold a product that is not fit for purpose. I only signed up for the store after Monique stated that the SEO problem had been solved (I had been monitoring the situation for a few months prior). Her statement is far from the truth, and I would have expected a company to have fully tested a solution before making such a bold statement which amounts to nothing more than false advertising.

I would have moved my custom to another provider by now was it not for the fact I had only just created/updated the site before purchasing the store option and at this point in time find the prospect of doing it all again rather depressing and daunting, (not to mention the time involved whilst holding down a full time job else where). You have so far only retained my custom due to lack of time and energy.

Matt
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Gop

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I think that Online Store site owners who have a catalogue of quality products and depend on the possibility of search engines discovering these products have a well defined expectation that Yola would fine tune the Ecwid store to allow indexation and subsequent product discovery. This has not been proven by Yola but rather has been neglected and subscribers have been mischievously neglected and misled.

The Online Store can be very elegantly configured and customised and the Ecwid developers have done an outstanding job with this platform. It works well with other site building processes.

The tragic Yola implementation and customisation travesties the hard work of your Online Store creators around the world with indifference.
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Neal Cowdrey

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Emmy,

I've been checking Google Webmaster Tools to see if all is well there and have come across the the Crawl/URL Parameter section where there are 72 pages with '_escaped_fragment_' being monitored.
Clicking on Edit for these 72 gives me another click to show example URLs, all of which are products and all look similar to the following as the example 'railpicsgb-online-shop.php?_escaped_fragment_=/~/product/id=36155018 '.

I have never adjusted anything in this part of Webmaster (so the details should be the default settings)and was wondering if there was anything that needs to be changed. I have hopefully attached a screenshot of what I am seeing in Webmaster tools
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Neal Cowdrey

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All,

another 6 days has gone by. Nobody has commented on my last post and I still have only 9 of 626 pages indexed. To put it into perspective 100% of non product pages are indexed. 0% of product pages are indexed.

Any help appreciated.

Neal
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Tiny Bag Co

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Hi Neal,

Thought I would reply to you as no one else has. I see that when you do the site:"your site" search on google you are still only getting 9 entries. I am not sure why we are being told this is a reliable method of seeing how many pages we have indexed. Mine currently comes up with 39 results initially, but if I click on page 2,3, or 4 of the results this immediately drops to 20 results and only 2 pages.

The index status tab of Webmaster tools is currently telling me I have 42 pages indexed, the highest it has been since the last "update". It has never been as high as the 48 pages that Emmy said she was seeing (if she had clicked onto page two of the results she would have seen 50% of them disappear!) How many are you seeing in webmaster tools?

What I find more worrying is that my index level has been at 42 pages for around 2 weeks now, and when looking at the "crawl stats" tab in webmaster tools they seem to have stopped crawling my site around the same time. For the 3 month period prior to 2 weeks ago google was crawling an average of 70 pages per day, downloading an average of 2200kb per day and I had an average page load speed of just 180ms.

for the last 2 weeks Google has been crawling an average of just 12 pages per day, downloading an average 65kb, and the page load time has slowed to around 700ms. All this is despite carrying out recommended SEO tasks on some of the pages and resubmitting the sitemap. It is as if Google can see nothing new to index and has given up!

I know this does not help you much Neal, but I was just wondering if you were having similar experiences.

Regards,

Matt
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William Stewart

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Official Response
Hi Neal

I'd just like to acknowledge that we know there are still some problems with crawling and AJAX indexing.

I've been working on some changes in the last few weeks that are still being tested a bit more before they're released. They should finally fix all the indexing problems.

Regards,

William
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Neal Cowdrey

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Hi William,

thanks for this. I'll give it one last shot when the changes are in place.

regards

Neal
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William Stewart

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Hi Neal, and everyone else that's had similar problems

I released the fixes this morning, and the indexing should finally be working.

You'll need to open your site in the Sitebuilder and re-publish it.

Please let me know if you're still having any problems with it.

Regards,

William
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Neal Cowdrey

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Thanks William,

I've just republished, let's see what the effect is.

regards

Neal
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Neal Cowdrey

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After 12 hours Google Webmaster reports the following, 'Google couldn't crawl your site because we were unable to access your site's robots.txt file'
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Jackie

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Hi Neal, William has been looking into this for you and it appears that the issue is isolated to your account. We would like to investigate further and will be emailing you shortly with the next steps. Please respond to the email directly. Thank you!